American Eel - Anguilla rostrata 






The body shape is elongate, snake or eel-like.  Its colour depends on the life stage of the fish but typically dark green to brown with lighter green to yellow sides, and a lighter belly.  The American eel has a long dorsal and anal fins and are continuous with its rounded caudal.  Paired pelvic fins are found just behind the gill openings.  The average length is generally 2 - 3 feet. 


American eels are common in both lakes and rivers thoughout the province.  They are primarily a nocturnal feeder.  Its diet consists mainly of other fishes, commonly blacknose dace, and a variety of aquatic insects including dragonfly and mayfly larvae. The American eel is a catadromous spending much of its life in freshwater, migrating to saltwater to spawn.  For this reason there is little information on their spawning; however, it is thought that all spawn in an area of the North Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea.  The larve are transparent and ribbonlike and take about a year to reach the coast, at which time they have transformed to a small transparent eel often called "glass eels".  They continue to migrate towards the freshwater rivers and by the time they reach the freshwater they have more colour, are about 2.5 - 3.5 inches and are called elvers.